Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weir Fishing

Walking on the ocean floor
I usually write about my post retirement trips on this blog, and normally the trips are off in some far-off locations, but you know there are lots of interesting spots to visit and write about right here in my home province of Nova Scotia. This summer, I am not traveling far, and intend to make a few trips around the province. We are off on our first excursion early in June, picking up the trailer from dad in Elm River, visiting friends in Economy, and then going across to the Valley, and then around to tour the South Shore.

The Weir
Our first stop in Economy, gave us  a chance to go weir fishing. I’m not much of a fisherman, lacking the patience to stand around waiting for some fish stupid enough to get my fish hook stuck in its mouth. Weir fishing makes it easier. They go out onto the flats at low tide and set up poles and nets in a “V” so that the next time the tide goes out the fish are funneled into the “V” and into a large square net.

We walked out across the Bay of Fundy following the tide as it went out. The owner of the weir came out in an old truck (they only last so long driving through the salt water), and unloaded empty plastic fish boxes and lent us all rubber gloves.

The weir was full of fish, but four were large sturgeon that as a protected species had to be released. These things were big enough that they had to be pulled out to deeper water with a rope.

Letting the sturgeon go
We filled about eight tubs with flounder. You could stand inside the weir, and just bend down and pick the fish out of the water. The fish were four or five deep underfoot, and all you had to do was feel around in the water to find another fish to throw into the bins.

Although this is an easier way to fish than casting a baited line into the water hoping for a bite (we tried this the next day with NO success), after an hour of throwing flounders into boxes, I decided this wasn’t that “easy”. The couple who were actually catching these fish for a living were only starting - they still had to take the catch home and clean and process it for sale, over another three hours work.

Regis didn’t make it any easier, she was constantly telling us that “that little one wants to get away.” or “oh look at that cute one; you should let him go.”